The Indian government will adapt global crash testing formula for the Indian car crash test, so the authorities are working to development safer cars in India. Called the Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Programme (BNVSAP), the proposed program will be modeled on the New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) and will be implemented soon in a phased manner.
Phase-0 starting in March 2015
It will centre on the commencement of crash test facilities at the Automotive Research Authority of India (ARAI) in Pune, International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT) at Manesar, and the Global Automotive Research Centre (GARC) in Chennai. The plan is for vehicles to be rated on the basis of their performance in frontal offset, side impact, pedestrian protection and child safety tests.
Phase-1 in October 2016
Where carmakers will be at liberty to choose if and which of their cars should be assessed. However, come October 2017, new car assessment will become mandatory with the choice of car to assess testing with the BNVSAP’s administrative body. In addition to this, carmakers will also be allowed to voluntarily send new and existing cars for crash testing. Interestingly, in Phase 1, cars will be tested as per the United Nation’s Vehicle Safety Regulations. That means the crucial 40 percent front offset test will be conducted at 56kph.
Phase-2 in October 2020
It will see the same test conducted at 64kph in line with NCAP’s methodology for testing. The 8kph increment may not seem like much, but as per NCAP’s research, 64kph is the speed at which most occupant fatalities occur. Phase 2 will also see the introduction of a rear impact test (at 35kph), a full frontal test (at 50kph), and also a proposed test for whiplash.
Phase-3 starts in October 2022
Finally the Phase 3 of the programme will be evolved on the basis of accident test data whose collection has already started this year.
At present, India does not have the requisite facilities to carry out crash tests. In fact, NCAP’s crash tests of seven Indian cars carried out over this year required the cars to be shipped to ADAC’s facility in Germany.
The crash tests and their results will be a boon for Indian car buyers who presently need to rely on non-standardized and hard-to-find accident data to know how safe a car is. With easy access to objective safety information should, in turn push image-conscious manufacturers to develop safer cars with strong body structures and safety basics as anti-lock brakes and airbags. Both of the above outcomes were noted in the South American car market following the introduction of the Latin NCAP, and there’s no reason why we can’t expect the same impact in India when BNVSAP is implemented.